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Volume 19, Number 1a
December 31, 2012
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AVflash! Aviation Safetyback to top 

A twin turboprop Beechcraft King Air 100 that crashed at night during a snowstorm on Dec. 19 near Libby, Mont., killing both aboard, was piloted by 54-year-old Carl Douglas who, FAA records show as of Friday, held only a student pilot certificate. Douglas was CEO of Stinger Welding and was flying with passenger John Smith, 43. Both men died shortly after midnight when the aircraft hit Swede Mountain three miles northeast of Libby Airport. While the FAA's online database, does not list mmore advanced credentials for Douglas, the event is still under investigation by the NTSB and new facts may emerge. At least one airport official familiar with Douglas has publicly commented on the matter. More...

In November the International Air Transport Association said 2012 was on track to become its safest year on record and now Ascend, an aerospace analytics service, estimates that airline passenger fatalities and aircraft destroyed could set record lows for 2012 … and that's not all good? Airline fatal accident rates are now twice as safe as they were 15 years ago, according to Paul Hayes, head of safety at Ascend. Fatal accidents now occur once for every 2.5 million flights. Hayes warns the improvement is part of a trend that could have negative effects on the insurance market. More...

Bose® A20™ Aviation Headset
Bose® A20® Aviation Headset
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Overrun Reportsback to top 

Four crew members died when a Red Wings Tu 204 overran a runway at Moscow's Vnukovo Airport on Saturday. Eight others, all flight crew for the Russian airline, survived the crash but four are in the hospital. There were no paying passengers aboard. Russian media is already quoting government sources as saying pilot error is being investigated as the cause. The aircraft went through a barrier and onto a highway just as Russians were beginning the busy New Year holiday, but no one on the ground was hurt. The aircraft ended up in three pieces. Click through for video footage shot from the dashboard of a car as it was struck by debris from the hurtling jet. More...

Pictures and video have emerged documenting the final landing of a Transall C-160 twin turboprop last October in Germany that, because the aircraft bounced short, was very nearly the last thing a handful of photographers ever saw. The 17-ton aircraft has a wingspan of 131 feet and can carry more than 90 troops. On Oct. 16, it was being ferried to Ballenstedt Airport, Germany, before a final trip to a local aviation museum. Photographers were allowed to witness the event from a road 100 feet short of, and perpendicular to, the runway. On final approach, the aircraft bounced just short of the raised roadway, kicking up dirt, flexing its wings, and missing a handful of photographers by feet as it hopped over the remaining distance, touching down short of the displaced threshold on the paved runway. Pictures and video after the jump. More... || Intelligent Apps for 
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The Cloud Comes to the Clouds?back to top 

The FCC Friday issued a statement that it has "adopted a Report and Order establishing rules to help speed deployment of Internet services onboard aircraft," to meet with consumer demands and promote economic growth. The action formalizes a license application process for broadband systems and creates standards to establish that they do not interfere with other equipment. The FCC hopes this will help more companies create more in-flight broadband services and products. According to the FCC, the new rules should process approvals for broadband systems "up to 50 percent faster." Under the plan, airlines will be able to test and implement internet systems through a streamlined process with the FCC and FAA. More...

Bendix/King by Honeywell || Loud and 
New! Bendix/King KMA 30 Audio Panel
Proof We Listen to Pilots
The Bendix/King KMA 30's music and phone Bluetooth® capability provides unsurpassed audio flexibility throughout your airplane. Connect one or two devices simultaneously, enjoy a six-place hi-fi stereo intercom with flexible soft-muting converse on the ground or in the cabin with a wireless mobile phone link. It integrates seamlessly with other Bendix/King products and is a "slide-in" replacement for select older audio panels. Learn more at
Long Jump Challengeback to top 

The Balloon Federation of America has invited balloonists across the country to take part in its annual Long Jump Challenge, an opportunity for pilots to use their skills and equipment beyond the usual treetops-and-champagne flight. The competition, which has been held every year since 1990, is open from November through March, and the idea is to fly as far as possible using no more than 40 gallons of propane fuel. The current all-time record is 693 miles, set by Alvin Hansen in 2003. So far this year, the longest recorded flight was made by Troy Bradley, who took off in New Mexico and landed 175 miles away, in Texas. This year for the first time, pilots can use their flights to help raise money for charity; this year's beneficiary is the American Cancer Society. More...

Every winter since 1990, balloon pilots across the U.S. have competed in the Long Jump Challenge, a competition to see who can fly farthest on a standard 40-gallon supply of fuel. Mark Caviezel, manager of the competition for the Balloon Federation of America, talks with AVweb's Mary Grady about the event.

This podcast is brought to you by Bose Corporation. More...

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Things You Don't See Every Dayback to top 

Here's one we missed earlier this year but New Scientist's year-end wrap included its April coverage of a novel (and so far useless) method of propulsion the clever folks at German technology company Festo have created. Festo built the SmartBird flapping wing UAV that captured world attention in 2011, but SmartInversion is a bird of a different feather. More...

A de Havilland Mosquito fighter bomber, the only one of its kind in the world that is flying, will appear at the Wings Over Wairarapa airshow in New Zealand, Jan. 18 to 20. The airplane is owned by Jerry Yagen, owner of Fighter Factory in Virginia Beach, Va. It first flew in September, and news reports at the time said the airplane would soon be shipped to the U.S. Now it will apparently first spend some more time in the country where seven years of restoration work took place. "The legendary Mosquito has a fond place in the hearts of Australian and New Zealand airmen," said Tom Williams, director of the airshow. More...

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Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

Canada's National Research Council and the FAA are collaborating on finding a replacement fuel for 100LL. In a post to the AVweb Insider blog, Russ Niles asks the question, "Where's the rest of the world?" Read more and join the conversation. More...

That's especially true if you just sunk several thousand bucks into a traffic box to find airplanes that are unlikely to kill you. In an analysis and commentary on the AVweb Insider blog, resident blogger Paul Bertorelli crunches the numbers and reveals that stalls and stall-related accidents continue to be near the top of a long list of dreary ways that pilots manage to kill themselves. Why can't we do better? Why is it that some pilots seem conceptually unable to grasp that beyond a certain angle of attack, the wing will simply no longer deliver useful lift? We're not sure there's an easy answer -- or maybe any answer at all -- but we do know that owners worrying about mid-airs are suffering from misplaced fears. Read more and join the conversation. More...

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AVweb Video: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

As much as we love them, iron gyros are on their way to the scrap heap of history. They're even losing their value as backup instruments to glass panels now that glass itself has become more reliable and affordable enough to replace even analog backup devices. In this new video from AVweb, Aviation Consumer's Larry Anglisano examines a new product from Mid-Continent Instruments and Avonics called the SAM. It fits into a small space on the panel and can be backed up with its own lithium-ion battery. Installation considerations are mimimal, but here's a close look at how the instrument looks and performs. More...

Glass panels have become standard in new aircraft, and now that more legacy airplanes are retrofitted with these systems, there's a growing market for backup gyros. That market has clearly stated a preference: Backup glass units are making inroads. In this AVweb video, Larry Anglisano of Aviation Consumer and Kirk Fryar of Sarasota Avionics give us a tour of the L-3 Trilogy. More...

2012 Production Eclipse Jets Available 
Eclipse Offers 2012 Production Aircraft for Sale Now
Eclipse Aerospace is excited to offer two 2012-model-year, factory-new Total Eclipse Jets available for delivery in December! These 2012 Total Eclipse Jets include the Avio IFMS avionics suite, two P&WC 610F zero-time engines, an extended two-year factory warranty, an anti-lock brake option, and much more. CLICK HERE for more information.
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!back to top 

Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something 255,000 pilots might want to know about, tell us. Submit news tips via email to What have you heard? More...

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Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's latest "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Wright Brothers Aviation at Mitchell Municipal Airport (KMHE) in Mitchell, South Dakota.

A few weeks back, AVweb reader Dr. Steve P. Schoettle knocked us out with his story of WBA's outstanding devotion to service:

Service above and beyond the call of duty! On October 27, after a successful week of pheasant hunting in South Dakota, I prepared to depart back home to Arkansas in my Cherokee Six. To my dismay, N720JB would not crank! Quickly, the line personnel came to my assistance with battery boosts, etc. After no success, Roger the mechanic stepped in. Even on his weekend off, he spent the next six hours diagnosing my failed starter and trying to get it working. After exhausting all possibilities, and unable to find a new starter in the area on a Saturday, he contacted a local plane owner, who graciously "loaned" me the starter from his plane! Roger took that starter and placed it on my plane, even coming in early Sunday morning to finish up and get me in the air The starter has since been replaced and the "borrowed" one returned to the other plane.

Terri and Todd have always run a wonderfully friendly and efficient FBO, but this was truly amazing service. My hat is off to the entire staff!

Keep those nominations coming. For complete contest rules, click here.

AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!


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Reader-Submitted Photosback to top 
Traditional Tactics Need a Fresh Approach
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The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 


Between Houston and Austin on December 18, 2012, I overheard the following breif conversation between Houston Center and another aircraft:

"Houston Center, can you give me a current altimeter setting?"

"At your altitude, it is 29.92."

"Uhhhh -- yeah."

[A brief pause.]

"Guess I will see that one in the back of IFR magazine next month."

Larry Frasier
via e-mail


Heard anything funny, unusual, or downright shocking on the radio lately? If you've been flying any length of time, you're sure to have eavesdropped on a few memorable exchanges. The ones that gave you a chuckle may do the same for your fellow AVweb readers. Share your radio funny with us, and, if we use it in a future "Short Final," we'll send you a sharp-looking AVweb hat to sport around your local airport. No joke. Click here to submit your original, true, and previously unpublished story. More...

Names Behind the Newsback to top 


AVwebFlash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest news, articles, products, features, and events featured on AVweb, the world's premier independent aviation news resource.

The AVwebFlash team is:

Tom Bliss

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Russ Niles

Scott Simmons

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Kevin Lane-Cummings

Ad Coordinator
Karen Lund

Avionics Editor
Larry Anglisano

Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? Your advertising can reach over 225,000 loyal AVwebFlash, AVwebBiz, and AVweb home page readers every week. Over 80% of our readers are active pilots and aircraft owners. That's why our advertisers grow with us, year after year. For ad rates and scheduling, click here or contact Tom Bliss, via e-mail or via telephone [(480) 525-7481].

Click here to send a letter to the editor. (Please let us know if your letter is not intended for publication.)

Comments or questions about the news should be sent here.

If you're having trouble reading this newsletter in its HTML-rich format (or if you'd prefer a lighter, simpler format for your phone or handheld device), there's also a text-only version of AVwebFlash. For complete instructions on making the switch, click here.

Aviate. Navigate. Communicate.